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Key Play Breakdown: Filip Hronek’s Awful Night

NHL: Preseason-Detroit Red Wings at Toronto Maple Leafs John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

I’m going to do something a little different with this key play breakdown and instead of giving you one goal, show you all four goals the Dallas Stars scored in their 5-1 win over Detroit while Filip Hronek was on the ice.

I don’t want to pick on the kid because it’s a tough league and even veterans have bad nights like this, so please don’t view this as a condemnation of the youthful blueliner, but he had a pretty bad night.

I suppose if you wanted to play the blame game, you could say that it all started when Hronek was separated from his first period defensive partner Dennis Cholowski after the initial intermission, but I don’t know about all that. Your mileage may vary.

I’ll also start right off the bat by saying that Hronek isn’t solely responsible for all of these goals, but since there are four of them here, I’m just going to focus on him and ignore the contributions by guys like Niklas Kronwall on these plays:

Goal #1

Dallas gets quick transition and takes advantage of Kronwall ranging over too far, but Blake Comeau is ultimately Hronek’s responsibility here and #17 isn’t in position to stop the feed from Faksa or disrupt Comeau’s finish because he goes to help give Kronwall a push. This split-second attempt to help out his teammate costs him his own coverage responsibility and it’s 1-0 Stars

Goal #2

On this one, Hronek gets caught up ice in the neutral zone and loses track of Mattias Janmark coming in behind him. When the pass gets by Hronek to Janmark, it becomes a 2-on-1 against Kronwall. Hronek chugs back trying to make up for the mistake, but he’s too late and Kronwall gets too aggressive cutting to the middle without being able to close the passing lane and the puck gets over to Radulov, who snipes it over a moving Bernier’s glove.

Goal #3

The only one scored against Hronek while he was away from Kronwall is also a power play goal for Dallas. This one is the culmination of almost a minute’s worth of in-zone time for the Dallas PP. Hronek is generally playing directly net-front and a big part of Dallas keeping the pressure on is three passes that go right through Hronek’s lane. He’s very busy with his stick, but cant block pucks. As the goal is scored, you’ll see the puck bounce off Bernier right under Hronek’s feet where he can’t get to it before Radulov. The final Radulov poke home is technically on Daley to stop, as Hronek is in position to defend against Benn on the back post, but the puck goes right through Filip several times here.

Goal #4

Not much else to say about this one. If you’re going to go up the middle out of your own zone, you better make sure it doesn’t get picked off like this.

Like I said, I don’t want to pick on Hronek so much or treat this like anything but just a bad night for the kid and a learning experience for him, but he got overwhelmed with his coverages and got several hard lessons about how even momentary lapses can end up as permanent marks on the scoreboard. He’ll have another chance to bounce back, but it’s going to be up to Jeff Blashill to figure out how to make sure Hronek gets the most out of this unpleasant experience.